Apple today made its biggest announcements so far this year, introducing two new larger phones, a new mobile payment system, a release date for its new mobile operating system, a new wearable computer platform and more.
As with previous iPhone announcements, Apple tried to explain why this year’s models are Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger than the previous generation. And the new models are bigger, with tougher screens, faster processors, better camera and more.
Since Apple has established iOS as the leading computer platform for mobile music making, though, we though we’d take a look at the announcements to see what’s new that will be of special interest to iOS musicians.
Five Reasons The New iPhones Are Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger For Musicians
- The iPhablet – While earlier iPhones seemed like a reasonable compromise between screen size, usability and portability, the market spoke – a lot of people want bigger screens and have been buying Android phones to get them. The iPhone 6 features a 4.7-inch 1334 x 750 display, offering 38 percent more viewing area than the previous generation, while the iPhone 6 Plus goes full-on ‘phablet’, with a 5.5-inch 1920 x 1080 display, offering 88 percent more viewing area than the previous generation. For mobile musicians that have been wanting bigger screens, they’ve now got a great iOS option.
- More options – Apple has been expanding its iPhone range over the last few year – and it now offers a huge selection of phones, which is likely to help it solidify its dominance over the profitable areas of the smartphone market. It now offers 29 different phone options, priced at free to $499 (under contract), that run a consistent operating system. This means that most developers are likely to continue to take an’iOS first’ approach to releasing apps, because they can reach a huge audience on a consistent OS.
- More storage for less money – with the new phones, Apple is offering more storage space (up to 128GB) at less of a premium. So, at the lower end, doubling the storage from 16 to 32 GB costs $50. At the high end, increasing the storage from 16 to 64GB costs $100. This is especially important for mobile musicians, because music apps keep getting bigger, and more powerful phones lead to more complex mobile music projects.
- Improved battery life – music production is taxing enough on desktop computers and extremely taxing on mobile devices, so battery life can often be a concern. The new iPhones offer significant improvements over the previous generation, with the high-end iPhone 6 Plus offering up to twice the battery life for things like audio playback. We’re looking forward to seeing what this means for music apps.
- iCloud Drive – Apple has been making incremental improvements each year to iCloud and it’s becoming an important option for sharing information across devices and for backing up your data. iOS 8 expands what you can do with iCloud, making it easier to share documents, both across devices and between applications. It supports sharing across iPhones, iPads, Macs, Windows PCs and the Web. It also lets you share files across multiple apps. And Apple announced paid iCloud storage options up to a terabyte. As applications add support, this should make it a lot easier to share samples, patches and projects between your music systems.
So, if you’re an iPhone music maker, is it time to upgrade?
iOS 8 will be compatible with the last three generations of the iPhone and iPad, so if you’ve got any of these devices, you’ll be getting a lot of new options when Apple releases the new OS on Sept 17:
- iPhone 4S
- iPhone 5
- iPhone 5S
- iPhone 5C
- iPhone 6
- iPhone 6 Plus
- iPad 2
- iPad 3
- iPad 4
- iPad Air
- iPad Mini
- iPad Mini 2
- iPod Touch 5G
If you’ve got an iPhone 4 or earlier, though, it won’t be compatible with iOS 8. This means that you’re going to see more and more music apps that won’t work with your device.
If you’re a mobile music maker, leave a comment and let us know what you though about today’s announcements!